Liverpool kick off their 2021/22 Champions League campaign with a clash against Italian giants AC Milan on Wednesday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the match having started the Premier League season with three wins and one draw from four games. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea, whilst beating Norwich, Burnley and Leeds without conceding a goal.
Their most recent win was against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, with Liverpool winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Mo Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane.
How many changes will Klopp make to the team for tonight’s big game? Here is our predicted XI for the match…
We are predicting that the Reds head coach will make three changes to the side, with Ibrahima Konate, Jordan Henderson and Kostas Tsimikas coming in.
The headline of those changes will be Konate making his competitive debut for Liverpool. He has been an unused substitute in all four of the club’s Premier League matches this season and a change in competition could open the door for Klopp to throw him in for Joel Matip.
Joe Gomez could also be in contention to partner Van Dijk, but we believe that the German coach will give him a bit longer to fully recover from his injury – starting Konate over him for now. It gives the French defender a chance to show why Liverpool paid £36m to RB Leipzig for his services and gives the often-injured Matip a chance to recover from the Leeds game.
We also believe that Robertson will be given a break to offer Tsimikas some more first-team minutes. The £55k-per-week Greek international started Liverpool’s first two Premier League matches and achieved SofaScore ratings of 6.8 and 7.6 against Norwich and Burnley respectively, providing an assist in the latter.
This shows that he has the quality to put in decent performances when called upon, which allows Klopp to rest Robertson when required. The Scot suffered an ankle injury earlier this season and giving him a game off against Milan could help to prevent any problems from reoccurring due to an overload of minutes.
Finally, we are predicting that Jordan Henderson will take Harvey Elliott’s place in the side following the youngster’s horrific ankle injury. Thankfully, he has had successful surgery on the ankle, but he is still expected to miss the majority of the campaign and will, obviously, not be fit to face Milan.
Henderson came on to take his place against Leeds and we believe that the substitution was an indication of Klopp’s thoughts ahead of the Milan clash. So, that means that the Reds skipper will be leading the team out to the Champions League anthem tonight.